Blog post

INTERGEO 2019: The Next Big Things in Location Data

Catch up on the geospatial megatrends that will last with Intellias recap of INTERGEO 2019

October 30, 2019

5 mins read

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, INTERGEO, the world’s leading summit and trade fair for geoinformation, geodesy, and land management, took place in Stuttgart, Germany on 17–19 September 2019. Billed as the global hub of the geospatial community, the event drew over 19,000 attendees and 700 exhibitors from all over the world to explore and showcase new advances in this dynamic and ever-changing industry.

Boasting a healthy mix of high-caliber content, state-of-the-art technology and exhibitors from Germany and abroad, INTERGEO provides the crucial basis for sharing the ideas that bring innovations and developments to life.

Christoph Hinte, CEO of INTERGEO

Naturally, the Intellias team, always in search of what’s new and awesome in geo tech, couldn’t miss INTERGEO 2019! Artem Zagorulko, head of location-based services at Intellias, was there to pick up on the top trends that promise to have the greatest impact throughout 2020 and beyond. If you didn’t get a chance to attend INTERGEO 2019, here’s our take on where the industry is heading next.

The currency of the future

INTERGEO was all about collecting, processing, and visualizing geodata as well as its growing importance for social, environmental, and technological change.

Geodata forms the foundation for our digital society and is thus becoming the currency of the future.

Prof. Hansjörg Kutterer, President of the DVW

Geoinformation is weaved into the DNA of digital transformation. The conference highlighted the opportunities that geo innovations bring to the table — from designing and building sustainable living spaces to finding ways to handle the most critical environmental issues. Powered by geospatial data, geo innovations presented include built-in sensors, real-time communication, data processing, and data analysis.

Will cities of tomorrow all have digital twins?

Cities are booming, and so are the challenges of urban life. Designing cities of the future that will be sustainable and livable for their ever-expanding populations has become the primary focus for local authorities, architects, and urban planners. This brings the need for data-driven smart city solutions into the spotlight, and digital twins take center stage.

Digital twins are hot, but what exactly are they? Based on data from sensors, digital twin technology generates a digital copy of a physical system and replicates real-world behavior in virtual environments, providing insights into how the system lives and operates.

Digital twins of everything, from buildings to metropolitan areas, reveal otherwise invisible problems and empower public administrators and city planners to improve infrastructure, making for more enjoyable and efficient living environments.

INTERGEO 2019 offered many insightful presentations on smart city solutions. The bright minds from virtualcitySystems illustrated the significance of 3D city models for building digital twins and of real-time data communication from various levels of sensors for intelligent and forward-looking city management.

INTERGEO 2019: The Next Big Things in Location Data
Source: virtualcitySYSTEMS Twitter

In his keynote titled “Smart city: hype, utopia, dystopia,” Joachim Schonowski of Smart City Consultants explained where we are today in terms of smart city development, outlined the challenges, and encouraged the world’s geospatial community to take action to move toward the big vision for the city of the future.

Drones: Ultimate all-rounders

For three days, drones were filling the sky above the flight zone outside the fair and soared to the top of the agenda. INTERGEO 2019 was raving about unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which are taking on an increasingly important role in the geoinformation field and becoming one of the key drivers of the digitalization of society. Coupled with intelligent software, drones save time and money and offer more efficient workflows for collecting geospatial data.

The outdoor air show provided a great stage for the leading UAV manufacturers to demonstrate what a powerful data acquisition platform drones can be for surveying and positioning professionals across many industries. The potential applications of drone technology are many and varied, from monitoring and inspecting to mapping, aerial imagery, photography, surveying objects and areas, calculating volume and elevation, and creating 3D models.

INTERGEO 2019: The Next Big Things in Location Data
Source: senseFly

In focus: 3D modeling

The third dimension has taken a new twist in indoor spatial intelligence, and INTERGEO knew all about it.

During the expo, visitors had a chance to try out the world’s smallest handheld 3D imaging laser scanners, which allow users to capture geospatial data right on site, ensuring the highest accuracy for construction projects. The technology introduces unprecedented mobility for indoor scanning and combines Lidar, visualization, and edge computing to scan in 3D on the go. The device recreates spaces in 3D while in motion, captures real-time images and precise point clouds, and records the user’s trajectory using SLAM technology. How cool is that!

There was also an interesting update on outdoor 3D modeling practices in the Netherlands.

The focus is on BIM, semantics, and data quality, while keeping economic value in mind.

Prof. Jantien Stoter of the Delft University of Technology

INTERGEO 2019: The Next Big Things in Location Data
Source: Hans Viehmann Twitter

As cities grow at a dazzling speed, the need for vertical construction will surge. With new technologies constantly coming to the fore, cities can build faster — and more importantly, correctly, avoiding time-consuming and expensive rework.

Boosting GNSS accuracy with sensor fusion

Who among us hasn’t fumed when they suddenly realized the GPS was guiding them in the wrong direction? Chances are your device is not at fault — blame it on some physical obstruction, like a street canyon or tunnel, that’s distorting, deflecting, or cutting off the satellite signals.

Bernhard Richter, the vice president of Geomatics Solutions, explained how sensor fusion has the potential to overcome physical limitations of GNSS. Significantly, smartphones will not reach survey-grade accuracy without external aiding devices. One of the possible keys to enhancing GNSS is a correction service.

INTERGEO 2019: The Next Big Things in Location Data
Source: Leica Geosystems AG Twitter

Once part of INTERGEO, always part of INTERGEO

The world of surveying is rapidly changing, and INTERGEO 2019 was further evidence of that! This event is the place to be for geospatial pioneers, and Intellias is delighted to be part of the community. With so many technological advances that came out this year and tons of new projects in the wings, what else is in store? We’ll be sure to find out next year at INTERGEO 2020!


We came back from this year’s conference inspired to move the industry forward and address the challenges ahead. If you have a new location data project in mind, get in touch with us! We’ll help you use the latest geospatial technologies to come up with the best solution for your business.

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